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Duplex Beirut - Paris Auction


Du 04/07/2023 à 00:00 jusqu'au 06/07/2023 à 00:00

MILLON – MIDDLE-EAST with the support of Mark Hachem Gallery presents Duplex Beirut - Paris Auction.

The very first Middle-East Modern and Contemporary Art sale will be held between the two French and Lebanese capitals.


AUCTION: · Beirut-Paris Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, takes place at the Monty Club Beirut on Thursday, 6 July at 6.00pm & at Salons du Trocadero Paris at 5pm 


View the catalogue 


Millon Middle-East, who have held 7 regular sale seasons since 2021 in Paris, announced that their summer sale will move forward on Duplex between Beirut and Paris in July. The auction of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, in partnership with the Mark Hachem Gallery, will be conducted in dollars under the hammer of Alexandre Millon from the Mothy Club on July 6 with a very special focus on Lebanese Modern Art. 


For its first sale in Beirut, the Millon auction house presents an impactful selection of 107 artworks of Middle Eastern and North African artists with a special focus on Lebanese modern art with 63 artworks. Millon is delighted that this event will be taking place only a few weeks following the reopening of the Sursock Museum. The recent reopening of the museum, as well as the presence of collectors both on-site in the Middle East and in diaspora, and the stimulating environment of galleries and local auction houses, testify to a common desire to showcase the art of Lebanon. Joint efforts to achieve this slowed down following the explosion at the port of Beirut in 2020 and its effects on the region, but despite this, the local artistic ecosystem perseveres, and continues to express dynamism in tune with new discoveries.


The cosmopolitan and historical elements of Beirut in both the Arab art scene and the broader art market is another reason for Millon to gather this beautiful selection of artworks and encourage the collectors and diasporas around the world to participate, this time inside the city of Beirut.


The catalogue of this event reveals hidden treasures, and not least of them is the great honour granted to our establishment to display works created by pioneers of modern Lebanese art. Some of these artists were shown at Le Salon d’Automne at the Sursock Museum in the 1960s.


Among the works highlighted in this catalogue, there will be a focus on some of the artists in the Sursock Museum’s permanent collection, whose work was exhibited in ‘I am uncultivated! The Autumn Show and the National Canon’ in the museum. Some such artworks are those by Mohammad Sakr, Aref El Rayess, Mounir Najm, Yvette Achkar and more, as well as renowned artists such as Chafic Abboud and Paul Guiragossian, among others.


In response to the change of the sale date, Zahra JAHAN-BAKHSH, Head of sale, said: “This will provide a more convenient, single moment for visiting Middle-Eastern collectors to see the very best of the art from the region and specifically from Lebanon in this sale. It is an indication of the continued success of Millon’s Middle East Modern and Contemporary Department in Paris that this moment has come. We hope that this sale will bring back the MiddleEastern art market inside the region and will make a significant impact on the Lebanese art scene. 


A visual feast of works by the modern masters who helped to shape art from the Middle East will be unveiled at the opening of the pre-sale exhibition for the Millon Summer Beirut auction. One of the most important pieces in the sale is an impressive work by Shafic Abboud (Lebanese, 1926-2004- shown on page 1) which was used as the back cover illustration of the artist’s monograph published in 2006 following a major exhibition in Paris, also published in Art from Lebanon, ‘Modern and Contemporary Artists 1880-1975’ in 2012. Additionally, this work was shown in the exhibition of Beirut, Loft 46, ‘Pieces for a Museum Featuring: Paul Guiragossian and Shafic Abboud,’ on the 7th -22nd April 2010, illustrated p.21. ‘L’Ebloui’ comes from a distinguished Lebanese private collection with an estimated value of $100,000- 120,000. 


Another key work, by Moroccan artist Mohamed Melehi (Maroc 1936 - 2020), whose work rarely appears for sale at auction is Composition from 2019, painted a year before his death. Born in Morocco, Melehi was a teacher and member of the Casablanca School of Art, and works to create links between artists and Mediterranean civilizations, taking part in numerous artistic events. The wave was a theme he first explored in Minneapolis in 1961, when he became fascinated with optical art. From then on, it has been a constant theme in his work. For some art critics, it evokes the seas, both the Mediterranean, linking North and South, and the Atlantic Ocean, which he often crossed on his visits to the United States. In 1963, one of his works was exhibited at the MOMA in New-York.


'Airfaeuu', the Arabic word for "elevation,' is the title of the work of Shakir al Said, painted in 1974, just one year after the Kippur war in 1973. This work is from the series titled ‘one dimension; walls and trace.’ The representation of the real in this series can be considered as a description of indicative and figurative structures such as writing or ascensive transformations formed by a line which turned into cracks and fractures. The real is also present in the artist's use of various coarse materials, and the great artistic steps taken such as the burning of the body of a painting. The estimated value is US$ 43,000 - 65,000.


Another important modern piece is Louay Kayali’s (Syria 1934 – 1978) Figura Sulla Spiaggia (Figure On The Beach), 1960. Kayali’s pieces are rare at auction hence the estimated value of $US 40,000 - 60,000. This work is illustrated in the Syrian Magazine, ‘Al Hayat Al Tashkiliya,’ Number 15, published by the Ministry of Art and Orientation in Damascus in 1984. 



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